Q & A: Does An Abnormal Pap Smear Put My Partner At Risk?


Q : My most up-to-date pap smear got here again irregular. I had a colposcopy and my physician mentioned that it appeared like I had solely gentle cervical modifications. He checked for warts however didn’t discover any. Can I nonetheless have intercourse with my boyfriend (vaginal and oral)? What safer intercourse practices ought to we use, and for the way lengthy?

A: Many ladies really feel fearful once they obtain information about an irregular Pap check end result. Most irregular exams are attributable to an infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) and the ensuing modifications in cervical cells. Nearly half of Americans are contaminated with HPV and lots of by no means comprehend it – particularly males, since routine HPV testing for males remains to be not accessible. In different phrases, your boyfriend could have HPV however neither of you’d comprehend it except he had seen warts identified by a healthcare supplier. It is even potential that you just obtained HPV from him, however there isn’t a technique to know.

There are greater than 100 strains of HPV. Some are linked to genital warts; others could trigger cervical modifications that may present up on a Pap check. Most folks’s our bodies seem to “get over” their HPV an infection with out it ever inflicting signs like warts or cervical modifications, even when the virus stays in a single’s physique.

Most females who’ve an irregular Pap check end result have a standard Pap check end result once more inside one yr. It is sensible to observe your healthcare supplier’s suggestions relating to follow-up testing. Good for you for doing so!

This May Be A HPV Situation …

It is a private option to have intercourse after a sexually transmissible an infection analysis so we can not advise you on what to do. Since you’ve gotten been collectively for a yr and have seemingly been sexually energetic collectively for some time, it’s potential that your boyfriend already has HPV. Again, that is whether or not you gave it to him or he gave it to you, or whether or not you each already had HPV from earlier companions.

As HPV is transmitted skin-to-skin, condoms (which don’t cowl all of 1’s genital pores and skin) can not remove the chance of HPV transmission. However, some analysis means that right and constant condom use could cut back the chance of HPV. HPV might be transmitted throughout oral intercourse, vaginal intercourse, and anal intercourse.

But This May Not Be A Wart Situation

An HPV analysis doesn’t imply that you’re going to get warts. You could not have a wart-related pressure. Even should you do, it’s possible you’ll by no means get warts or it’s possible you’ll solely get a number of warts sometimes. Treatments can be found for warts do you have to ever get them, although some healthcare suppliers suggest a “wait and see” strategy slightly than energetic therapy. Again, should you develop warts or produce other questions on STIs, we suggest that you just communicate along with your healthcare supplier for private details about your health.

Both you and your boyfriend can look at your genitals for modifications in look, protecting in thoughts that there are lots of regular lumps and bumps on one’s genitals that don’t have anything to do with HPV. You can be taught extra about HPV, irregular Paps, warts, and regular lumps and bumps in The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide to Complete Vulvovaginal Health.

If you smoke cigarettes, quitting smoking is a significant step towards bettering your cervical health. An excessive amount of analysis has linked cigarette smoking with HPV-related issues together with cervical modifications and look of genital warts. Smoking cessation lessons can be found by many campus health facilities and neighborhood teams. In addition, something that enhances your immune system (e.g., good sleep, rest, healthy way of life) could also be useful.

You can be taught extra about HPV from the Centers for Disease Control web site (www.cdc.gov) and extra about irregular Pap check outcomes from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. At the CDC website you may learn detailed details about HPV vaccines, which can be found to each men and women. Some healthcare suppliers will nonetheless provide the HPV vaccine to ladies who’ve already been identified with a number of strains of HPV, because the vaccines provide safety from a number of HPV strains. Ask your healthcare supplier for extra data.


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